spring breakFor young individuals, Spring Break can be a welcome diversion in the middle of a seemingly endless school year.  It can be a time to hang out with friends and enjoy wonderful weather out of doors.  Some fifty years ago, Spring Break for college kids and young adults was similarly innocent in nature – a time for individuals to enjoy each other’s company and the outdoors.  Unfortunately, Spring Break has transformed into something else entirely over the past half-century.  In most cases, when individuals consider the proposition of Spring Break today they are thinking about wild parties with plenty of booze and other drug substances.

The Dangers of Drug Substances During Spring Break

National Geographic recently filmed a documentary about Spring Break in Miami.  This documentary went behind the scenes to discover that at Spring Break time, drug dealers routinely stock up on popular party drugs like marijuana, Ecstasy and cocaine to distribute to vacationers.  During the Ultra music festival in Miami, emergency medical services report having to work harder than they do at any other time of the year, with over one hundred emergency calls received in just a three-day period.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism further reports that over forty percent of college students on Spring Break admitted they got drunk at least once during their vacation, and eleven percent admitted to drinking until they blacked out.  Another survey featured in the Psychology of Addictive Behavior journal indicated more than thirty-three percent of college students on Spring Break admitted they suffered from hangovers, twenty-three percent admitted they had felt or gotten sick to their stomach, nine percent admitted they had passed out and six percent admitted that inebriation had caused them to enter into uncomfortable sexual situations that they later regretted.

A Guide For Preventing Spring Break Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Regardless of what individuals may think about alcohol or drug use, the fact is that these substances can actually detract from creating a safe and memorable vacation.  Narconon Centers, home to one of the most successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment programs worldwide, has released a guide that can help prevent Spring Break drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Some tips for a safer Spring Break include:

●     Stay with a group of trusted friends at all times, especially if you are vacationing in a foreign country.

●     If you are of legal age to drink alcohol and you want to, set your limits beforehand and discuss them with your friends.  You need to agree on what actions you permit your friends to take if you go over your limit.

●     Never leave your drink unattended and then resume its consumption, and never drink from a punchbowl.  Date rape drug substances are entirely undetectable and highly potent.

●     Never move into hot water during or after consuming alcohol.  Heat can exacerbate the sedating effects of alcohol.

●     Be careful around water sources, like swimming pools, while consuming alcohol, as you may not be as well-coordinated as usual.

Some tips for ensuring one’s teenager has a safe Spring Break include:

●     Inform oneself about the true activities of a Spring Break vacation by looking up videos online.

●     Talk to your child openly and honestly about the easy availability and dangerousness of drugs and alcohol at Spring Break locations.  Ensure your teenager understands that young individuals die every year during Spring Break vacation due to unsafe activities related to drug and alcohol use and abuse.

●     Consider offering an alternate Spring Break trip for your teenager that will not involve the typical Spring Break destinations or activities.

●     Arrange a phone call schedule with your teenager and get your teenager’s full agreement to adhere to it strictly while on vacation.

●     Find out exactly where they will be staying, who with, and the phone numbers of several individuals who can confirm your teenager will be there and will be okay.

If an individual is adamant about participating in Spring Break, the least they can do is be very well informed about exactly what they are in for, and how they can ensure they stay safe on their vacation.

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